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Ten facts about Zidane and the Champions League

Zinédine Zidane makes his UEFA Champions League debut as a coach as Real Madrid visit Roma. He had a celebrated playing career but here are some things you may not know.

Zinédine Zidane the coach
Zinédine Zidane the coach ©AFP/Getty Images

1. Zidane won his first five games in the competition without conceding.

2. Zidane's competition debut came against Manchester United on 11 September 1996, a 1-0 victory for Juventus. Sir Alex Ferguson's team were his most common opponent with eight meetings. He recorded four wins and a draw but perhaps one of the defeats is most famous – when Ronaldo scored a hat-trick at Old Trafford to complete an aggregate triumph for Real Madrid in the 2002/03 quarter-finals.

Ronaldo: My Magic Moment

3. Zidane was sent off twice – in each of his last two UEFA Champions League appearances for Juventus. He was booked only five times in 79 outings in the competition proper.

4. Zidane's first UEFA Champions League match as a Madrid player was against the same opposition that he will open his coaching account against: Roma. The Spanish side came from behind to draw the encounter in October 2001.

Zidane on his UEFA Champions League debut for Madrid
Zidane on his UEFA Champions League debut for Madrid©Getty Images

5. Zidane reached finals against German opponents in his first season at both Juventus and Madrid.

6. Zidane registered 13 goals in 79 games, none more celebrated than his stunning volley in the 2002 final against Bayer Leverkusen. Only once did he score more than one in a match: hitting two in a 3-3 draw at AEK Athens in 2002.

Zidane's 'once in a lifetime' volley

7. As a Juventus player, Zidane lost the 1998 final to Real Madrid and he never got the better of Juve as a Madrid player either. The Bianconeri knocked them out in the 2002/03 semi-finals and the last 16 in 2004/05 despite the Merengues carrying a home win into the second leg each time.

8. Zidane reached at least the semis in five of his nine UEFA Champions League campaigns. He fell at the quarter-final hurdle once, the last 16 twice and on just one occasion did his team fail to advance beyond the group stage: Juventus in 2000/01.

Zidane: What the anthem means to me

9. Zidane was a substitute only three times in nine seasons of UEFA Champions League football, and just two of his 79 appearances came off the bench.

10. Zidane's final UEFA Champions League game (like the first) came against English opposition, a goalless draw with Arsenal. He ended with a record of 39 wins, 24 draws, 16 losses, 13 goals and one title.